Chase Rubin: Top 3 Tennis Matches in Recent History
Hi, everyone! This is Chase Rubin with another blog update. Many of my friends are still talking about Federer and Nadal’s clash so I thought of writing about the greatest matches in recent history.
#1: 2008 Wimbledon Final – Elegance vs. power had come alive and clashed at Wimby 2008, in the form of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Apart from the quality tennis the two legendary players had put on display for millions of fans around the world, the context from which Wimbledon 2008 had based its narrative on propelled the epic matchup between Fed and Rafa to greater and more dramatic heights.
The Swiss Maestro was looking to win his sixth consecutive Wimbledon title at that time, while Rafael Nadal on his part was looking to land a rare French Open-Wimbledon double. Their clash lasted several hours as rain postponed the match, at least twice. To add to the excitement, both players were tied with two sets apiece and were playing in their prime. Fed was ranked No. 1 that year and Rafa often trailed behind him at No. 2. Many fans credit Rafa as the only player who had a chance of stopping Fed and that he did, in the 5th set. Looking back, Roger Federer claims that fateful day had gotten too dark to the point he couldn’t even see his opponent. True or not, Rafa won fair and square, finally winning a Slam on a grass court.
#2: 2012 Australian Open Final – The greatest match ever in the Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic rivalry, the 2012 Australian Open final revealed the superhuman power and endurance of both players. The match lasted 7 minutes short of six hours and the win cemented Novak Djokovic’s rightful place among the sport’s greatest.
Rafa took the first set but lost focus as Djokovic took control of the next two sets. As one might expect in a fierce rivalry such as this, Rafa took the 4th and pushed every tennis fan to the edge of their seats with a 5th set but failed to sustain the momentum. Always humble and philosophical, the King of Clay had the same generous words to say about his opponent despite the loss: Djokovic is indeed one of the greatest service returners the sport has ever had.
#3: 2015 French Open Final – Stan Wawrinka became the new King of Clay after defeating crowd favorite Novak Djokovic in the Roland Garros finals of 2015. Without Rafael Nadal in the picture, it seemed that Djokovic had the French Open in the bag and would continue his reign as No. 1, but as history played out, every player is bound to encounter some upsets.
One of the few remaining players with a one-handed backhand that could rival Roger Federer’s, Wawrinka dominated his Serbian-born foe in a shocking four-set finish, complete with powerful serves and shots. The Roland Garros finals is recognized as one of the best matches in recent years, showcasing quality tennis in contrasting styles. Though Wawrinka may be a late bloomer compared to other tennis greats, his climb to the top has nevertheless shaken up the predictable narrative of men’s tennis with the same old characters.
What other matches do you think should have made the list? Feel free to leave me, Chase Rubin, a comment!